Trying to keep a WDW/US trip in check budgetwise

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by JamesMom, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. JamesMom

    JamesMom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Hi,
    I am having a hard time justifying a visit to Universal Studios though my oldest and I would LOVE to see WWoHP.
    Here is a budget I have worked up for mid December:
    $1,800 - 6 nights Value resort, regular tickets, free QS dinning for 4 people
    $1,100 - round trip Airfare
    $1,100 - 1 night US resort, 2 day/2 park tickets for 4 and $200 food budget
    $1,000 - misc - airport transportation, souveniers, kennel and photos.
    So my trip is $5,000 and Universal is 20% for 2 days! (acutally 1.5 days as we have leave the park by 2:30 to catch our 5:30 flight or pay an extra $400 in airfare - not). Seems like an insane amount for 2 days ($550 each!) compared to Disney at a more reasonable $300 a day.
    Don't get me wrong - we ARE going, but it is going to hurt. Potter better be worth it! BTW - we are staying on site for the express pass and early entry since our time so limited there and I cringe when I hear of 1-2 hour waits as the norm.

    And what spurned this december trip was the threads on this board. I was originaly planning a June trip - 2 weeks offsite town home with Yes tickets, US studios, beach, rental car etc running about $8,000 :eek: But then I read about the YES program changes and tax increases in general - I want to save that $3K and go for a more ecomonical trip. We CANNOT deny the kids this year. We were going last year, but my DS hospital bill ($10K OOP) struck out those plans. So they (and I ) have been waiting patiently... Just trying to keep it all reasonable. The budget may win out over desire and save another $1K by cutting (*sniff*) universal. Thanks for listening :)
     
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  3. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

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    I went in August (really busy season) and we did two days at US/IOA and stayed off-site and were still able to see/do everything by getting to the parks early. You can't use the express pass on Forbidden Journey. We were there on a Sunday and Monday and the line at park opening when we got there was 20 min. We then rode again twice using the single rider line and only waited 5 min. The rolller coaster lines were only about 10 min.

    We stayed at the International Palms (about a mile away) and it was $136 for three nights (Hotwire Deal). I bought 2 day 1 park tickets - - there's enough to see/do in each park to spend a full day in each one.

    Mid-December is a slower time of year so you may not need the express passes anyway.
     
  4. Redwitch

    Redwitch DIS Veteran

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    Have you considered an off site hotel that offers an early entry package? I'm not sure if these are still available, but it might cut your budget. Have you read the "Dark Side" threads way, way down on this board? They are very helpful and quick to respond to questions. Given that, I feel your pain. I booked two nights at a UR hotel and it is over twice the night rate at the condo I have for the rest of my trip.
     
  5. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    If there is any chance at all that you might be able to make a second trip to Universal in a 365 day period, or even if you won't but have a largish family, look into buying one annual pass. The AP discount on the hotels normally cuts the rate by close to 50%, and you will also get discounts on your remaining tickets, and on food and merchandise purchases. The math may or may not work for you; it varies. On our last 2-day Universal trip, having one AP in the family saved us about $400.
     
  6. JamesMom

    JamesMom DIS Veteran

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    OP here,

    Thanks for the responses. Annual passes would be great, but we are trying to afford 1 trip, much less 2. We don't plan on returning for several years. It is just sticker shock when for the last 2 years we have gone on a 9 day vacation in June, hotel for 3 nights - 4 days at Sea World, meal plan and souveniers, then head to my aunt's house on the gulf coast (save 5 nights hotel) and go to the beach and tourist attractions and spend around $1,500 including gas for the 8 hour each way drive.
    Hubby and I talked it over and much to the kids disappointment we are postponing the Disney/US trip until December 2013. We just don't have the money for Disney this December without going into debt (a HUGE budget board no-no). So we will go to Sea World and my Aunts again this summer. The advantage is my husband gets 3 weeks vacation time starting in January and hubby is sold on a winter vacation as he hates the heat and has never been to WDW during the holidays. The kids will get over it...I hope :)
    BTW - my oldest has been to WDW 2x and my special needs 7 year could probably use another year of maturity (there's a reason he didn't go before...). Yeah, that makes me feel better, sort of, lol.
    Thanks for listenting to me whine.
     
  7. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Just to be clear, not annual passes, but an annual pass -- singular. Having ONE annual pass in the family will still entitle you to some very significant discounts on rooms and park tickets, which is the point. Do go ahead and do the math; you may find it would actually be less expensive to do it that way. (Note that the discount deals do not work with Power Pass; it must be a regular AP)

    The AP in our family is in DH' name, because he travels to Florida on business a couple of times a year. The real reason that we have it is for the discounts, but it's nice for him to be able to just go do an evening at the parks while he is there.
     

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